HOUSTON – March 8, 2019 – More Spring ISD employees than ever took part in the district’s fourth annual Employee Engagement Survey, with those taking part reporting growing pride in the district and more engagement with their work.
The results of the survey, which was administered by the independent research firm K12 Insight last fall, were presented Thursday to the Board of Trustees, who got a detailed look at how employees feel about their work for the district.
One area of notable growth was in the participation rate for this year’s survey, which increased to 85 percent, a 10-percentage point jump over last year. Even with 540 more employees taking part in the survey, the percentage of participants classified as highly engaged or engaged saw a three-percentage-point increase from 2017-18 to 74 percent.
“For you to have 85 percent participation, that’s fantastic,” said Jennifer Coisson, K12 Insight director of research. She noted that most districts don’t see such high levels of participation and that a typical benchmark is closer to 50 percent.
Chief Communications Officer Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield attributed the high levels of participation to awareness among staff that the data is used. In particular, she noted that many principals are doing a wonderful job of using their campus data to have conversations with their staff and make action plans to improve employee engagement.
In presenting the results of the survey to the trustees, Coisson reviewed the factors that drive employee engagement, including shared values, leadership, communication, feedback and recognition, work environment, and career growth and training opportunities.
She noted that the average score for each overall engagement item continues to improve, with the item, “I would feel comfortable referring a good friend to work for Spring ISD” having the largest increase.
Another area of progress was in the area of career growth and training opportunities. Over the past year, the district has invested in providing more training and professional development opportunities for teachers and staff. Some 74 percent of respondents to the survey agreed or strongly agreed that the district “encourages continued education and professional growth.”
Coisson also noted areas where the district has the potential to further increase employee engagement, including appreciation or recognition for work and accomplishments. Some suggestions to address those items could include boosting employee recognition programs and or offering incentives to high-performing workers. While the district already offers an Employee Excellence Award, given out monthly by the trustees to an employee whose work is exemplary and hosts an Employee Recognition Banquet in May, trustees and administrators discussed the need to increase awareness about all of its recognition programs.
In January, for example, the Board of Trustees approved a new strategic compensation plan to reward educators who demonstrate excellence. The district also recognizes outstanding Central Support Staff at meetings held three times a year and awards incentives to teachers who make attendance a priority.
“Sometimes awareness is all it takes,” said Trustee Justine Durant.